Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dream Big

By Amy

This is the very picture of a dream-come-true.

Like Lisa, I remember when Lynne asked us to review some pages of her non-fiction parenting book. To be honest, I was hesitant. I was comfortable giving feedback on fiction, memoir, narrative nf, but this was all together a separate beast.

The pages sat on my desk too long until I forced myself into the chair to review them. It wasn't that I was uninterested, more afraid I would let Lynne down. What a relief once I read her work! It was near perfect, mere tweaks was all it needed before she could begin her agent search. In the days to follow, she passed along a query letter for us to review and then late one week she sent it out.

Whoa! I wanted to tell her. Don't rush it. Instead I wished her well and tried to prepare her for the inevitable rejections to come. Even though she had a list of agents she intended to query, I began a list of my own to pass along when she ran through hers. Lynne's contained only a few names, some of the best in the business. It wasn't that I didn't believe in her book, it's that I didn't have enough faith in this writing life. I was still burdened by the yoke of rejections I shouldered from my first manuscript: I became an anxious wreck on her behalf.

But not for long. Lynne received immediate requests. Within days, she received multiple offers from agents. She spoke with all of them and chose one, the one. To this day, we can't mention her name without following it with, We love her. When it was decided, Lynne called, giddy, and I remember sinking into the nearest chair. It was really going to happen. Lynne would get her book published.

My husband overheard everything. Noticing my dazed expression and the tears that suddenly welled, he said, "This must be hard for you. Are you you a little envious?"

"No," I said. "Our dream came true."


Gail said...

What a generous and heartfelt post. Lynne is lucky to have you the rest of the group to share this dream with. Can't wait to read the book!

kristen spina said...

Oh, you guys are the best! Seriously. You are all lucky to have each other.

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Thanks, Gail. We do feel lucky.

Kristen, thanks to you,too. We're grateful every day. You know what this business can be like, I can't imagine going it alone.


Lynne Reeves Griffin said...

When I traveled two towns over, clutching ten pages of my novel, I had no idea Hannah, Lisa and Amy would change my writing and change my life. I love that we get to share, through this blog, a little bit of our camaraderie with our online friends.

I'm especially thankful for all the kind words shared over the last week about my book.


Judy Merrill Larsen said...

I love reading all of this and knowing how much you all support one another. One of the most delightful things I've discovered as a writer is how nurturing writers are for one another. I started out doing this alone, but am thrilled to know I'm now part of this wonderful writing community

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Lynne,did you really bring pages that first time we met at Hannah's?

Judy, I had always been warned that writers were a jealous, petty bunhc. So far, I haven't really encountered that myself and I'm glad you haven't either. When are you stopping by for a cup of tea and that coffee cake?


Larramie said...

Your writing, Amy, had my own eyes well up with tears. Not just because another dream came true, but because of the love and the pride you all share in Lynne's success.

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

It's true, Larramie, we each take pride in the other's work. It's not something we take for granted. Thanks for your kind words.

Lynne Reeves Griffin said...


You can bet that when Hannah, Lisa and Amy get their book deals, I will raise my glass and my voice the highest. Each success--no matter how big or small-- belongs in some way to all of us.


Lisa said...

What you all have is so rare and so wonderful. Your genuine happiness for the successes each of you has shines through and truly warms my heart.

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Thank you, Lisa. It's nice to have each of you be a part of it.


mohanley5 said...

I, too, have been amazed at the generous support offered by the writers I have met over the past few years, and especially through Grub Street. In my "previous life" when I worked as a teacher and a nurse, the competition/backstabbing was such a turn-off...so I just assumed that it happened everywhere. At least it helped to thicken the skin (and is useful to incorporate into my characters!).

Amy, it is easy to feel that your thoughts about Lynne's success are genuine. You all have a very special group. I expect to hear of more success stories soon!!

Best to all of you...your words on this blog are very helpful to those of us still plugging away at the keyboard :)


John Robison said...

You're right, you just never know what will happen, and dreams do indeed come true. At least occasionally.

Lynne had success finding an agent and a publisher and so did I.

You can too, if you apply the right thought process and focus.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Lynne! You look so happy. That's the most wonderful photo I've seen in a long time.

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Five, I'm so pleased you're receiving the support you need. Isn't it crucial in this business if you're going to succeed? I know, I know I still need to get to the post office and mail those books.

John, everyone has their own path to publication and some never find their way. I'm so pleased for those who did and I'm cheering for those on the path. One week until Look Me in the Eye debuts, right? Can't wait!

Hank, sort of brings you back to your first signing of Prime Time, doesn't it? And now Face Time next month? I can't wait to spend a some time with Charlie again.